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Yesterday I published a post about the Practical Playbook’s upcoming 2nd Annual National Meeting – Improving Population Health: Collaborative Strategies That Work. The conference will be taking place May 31 – June 2, 2017 at The Westin Washington D.C., City Center. I plan to be there blogging and Tweeting throughout!

As a follow-up to that post, I wanted to mention the organization’s Call for Posters. The submission deadline is fast approaching: March 20, 2017.

Overview of Poster Session

The Practical Playbook has issued a Call for Posters for its 2nd annual National Meeting, Improving Population Health: Collaborative Strategies That Work. The meeting will take place May 31 – June 2, 2017 at The Westin Washington D.C., City Center. The Poster Session is an important part of the National Meeting, providing an opportunity for participants to share their experiences, celebrate successes and learn about effective methods and resources for cross-sector collaboration from their peers.

Poster Session Guidelines

Poster Session displays at the 2017 Practical Playbook National Meeting will highlight innovative and impactful strategies, tools and approaches to public health, primary care and community collaborations for improvements in population health.

Poster Session displays may focus on:

  1. Successful and/or innovative public health, primary care and community collaborations in the planning stages
  2. Successful and/or innovative collaborations currently in the implementation stages
  3. Effective tools, resources or strategies to support successful collaborations

Researchers and practitioners who have implemented innovative programs, and/or those with an effective approach for addressing a population health challenge involving collaboration between public health, primary care and community organizations are encouraged to submit a draft of the poster they would display at the meeting.

To learn more about the poster session or to submit a poster, visit the Practical Playbook National Meeting website. Poster drafts must be submitted no later than March 20, 2017. Individuals who are selected to present at the National Meeting will be notified by April 17, 2017 via email.

For the last couple of years my team and I have proudly worked along side the team from the Practical Playbook to promote improvements in population health by facilitating collaboration between provider organizations and public health organizations. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience. This year we’ll be holding our second annual National Meeting. I hope you’ll join me at the 2017 Practical Playbook National Meeting Improving Population Health: Collaborative Strategies That Work, Wednesday, May 31 through Friday, June 2, 2017, at the Westin Washington, D.C. City Center.

This second annual meeting provides a forum for national dialogue on best practices for cross-sector collaborations, while rising to meet the challenges of the changing healthcare landscape.

Participants from across the nation, representing public health, primary care, community organizations addressing social determinants of health, and other sectors, will attend to network and share their experiences. Based on my experience at last year’s National Meeting, this year’s event will be timely, stimulating, thought provoking and a great opportunity for networking with peers.

The meeting will explore the following themes:

  • Understanding and Leveraging Current & Emerging Policy and Funding Trends
  • Best Practices for Data Collection and Use
  • Strategies for Collaboration and Implementation
  • Building Momentum in Uncertain Times
  • Taking Local Action to Generate Scalable Results

Early bird registration closes March 31, 2017. Space is limited so visit PracticalPlaybook.org/NationalMeeting to register today!

img_8795Starbucks is part of my daily routine and has been for years. On Swarm, I am the mayor of my local Starbucks. The people in my neighborhood shop know me by name and give me incredible service.

When the company rolled out its mobile order service in 2015, I watched with interest. It really has changed the dynamic in the store. With all of these online orders flooding in, it is difficult to know where my order falls in the queue. That said, mobile ordering hasn’t diminished the quality of my customer experience, but it has introduced an unexpected health concern.

A health risk: One problem with the online ordering is that the person who ordered the drink is often not in the store when the drink is prepared. The barista calls our the name on the order (“Mobile order for Dan”), and then places the drink on the counter with all of the other mobile orders. Suddenly, there are a bunch of drinks on the counter. As customers enters the store looking for their online orders, they start handling (touching) the drinks to find their own. You see, the stickers Starbucks prints out and places on the cups aren’t particularly easy to read and are often covered up by the cup sleeve or are turned away from the customer. People continually walk up to the array of drinks and manipulate them to determine which one is their order. Let me be clear, I don’t want anyone handling my drink. But what I object to the most is people who handle the cups by grabbing them by the lid. I see this happen every day at my Starbucks and at other locations that I visit during my travels. (I have a similar issue with restaurant menus that are not sanitized after each use.)

fullsizerender-4In my line of work I have developed a keen appreciation for hand hygiene – and an understanding of just how many people fail to adhere to good hand hygiene practices. These Starbucks customers could have the flu or some other contagious condition, and are touching the lid of a drink that may not be their own. The germs travel from their hand to another customer’s lips. It is disgusting. It is bad hygiene that could lead to the transmission of nasty infections!

What should Starbucks do? I believe Starbucks should encourage customers not to handle cups by the lids. That seems like a simple message that could be communicated in the store through signage. Starbucks could also coach baristas to place the cups on the bar with the sticker facing the customer. That would make it easier (still not perfect) for customers to identify their drinks. I’m sure there are a number of solutions. My objective is to keep Starbucks from becoming a distribution point for the spread of the common cold, influenza, noroviruses, nosocomial infections, hepatitis and other diseases/illnesses that are easily transmitted by touch. Is that too much to ask?

 

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If you’re looking for a great learning opportunity and a chance to connect with more than 750 healthcare marketing, strategy, and physician relations executives, I’ve got a suggestion for you. I suggest you consider attending the 22nd Annual Healthcare Marketing & Physician Strategies Summit! This year’s event will be held in Austin, Texas, May 8 – 10, 2017 at the JW Marriott Resort. The Summit is one of the leading conferences in the healthcare arena for senior-level marketing, strategy, physician relations, sales, and business development executives from hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, integrated networks, and medical groups.

In the spirit of transparency and full disclosure, I’ve been on the faculty of the conference for a decade. From my perspective, this conference is the perfect size – still small enough with 750 attendees to allow for more meaningful networking and socializing. More important than that, Judy Neiman, president of the Health Strategy Institute and the event organizer, is incredibly thoughtful in the way she select speakers and topics for each forum. She canvases her network of industry thought leaders and builds a learning experience that is hand crafted to meet the needs of healthcare marketers, strategists and communicators (among others). It is this hand-on attention to detail that leads to a winning conference agenda.

This year Judy asked me to develop a presentation related to innovative practices in online community development. I’ve recruited two terrific speakers who will show the relevance of online communities to patients and healthcare professionals. My first panelist, Cindy Price Gavin, is the founder of an online community for people with Pancreatic Cancer called Let’s Win. This is an remarkable platform that enables patients, doctors, and researchers to share fast-breaking information on potentially life-saving pancreatic cancer treatments and trials that go beyond the standard of care. Through Let’s Win, patients and their families can exchange information about their diagnoses and the science-driven treatments they have undertaken beyond traditional protocols, and share what they learn from others with their medical team. I also have Colin Hung on my panel. Colin is a healthcare social media influencer and thought leader. He works for Stericycle Communication Solutions, but is perhaps best know as one of the founders of the Healthcare Leadership Twitter Chat and community.  (You can check out the Healthcare Leadership Blog here.) The #HCLDR chat and community is made up of physicians, nurses, public health professional, healthcare IT professionals, marketers, hospital administrators, patient advocates, patients and more. It is an amazing community that comes together every Tuesday evening to address a new topic. Here’s the write-up for our session:

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I hope to see you at the 2017 Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit! It truly is one of my favorite events of the year.

Last week I published a post about Renown Health’s commitment to taking action outside of the hospital’s walls to address community health. I visited Renown a couple of weeks ago and was thoroughly impressed by so many aspects of their operation. Today I’m sharing some thoughts about what Renown Health is doing within its walls to create a healing and healthy environment for patients, family members, visitors and employees.

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Photo Caption: Display of artwork at Renown Health

When I speak at conferences, there are always a few audience members who are surprised to hear me say that many hospitals were not designed with the patient and his or her family in mind. For decades we built institutions that were not patient- and family-friendly and certainly weren’t hospitable. The facilities were cold and stark. They were loud. Lighting was horrible. These were not what I call healing environments. They were places for medical and therapeutic interventions – and for monitoring patients during recovery.

Today we understand that the environment has a lot to do with the patient’s recovery and well-being. It can also impact employees and their job performance. So, thank goodness, we are building amazing new healthcare facilities that truly offer patients, family members and hospital employees a healing and healthy environment. Many new hospitals have circadian lighting to simulate a natural environment. It is common to find artwork on the walls of the facility, and occasionally in patient rooms. I love this trend! Patient rooms now make accommodations for family members spending the night. Many hospitals have even eliminated formal visiting hours and offer valet parking – two patient-centric developments.

Throughout the industry there has also been an effort to make hospitals healthier environments by eliminating smoking and by emphasizing healthy food options in cafeterias and other hospital-based restaurants. Many healthcare organizations now have weekly farmer’s markets for their employees and visitors – emphasizing the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating. And finally, the Green Health movement has led to many hospitals to start using non-toxic building and cleaning products to reduce the negative health impact on patients, visitors and employees.

Within the hospital’s walls: As my colleague and I toured Renown last week we were astounded by the healing environment they have created. And trust me, not every hospital qualifies as having a healing environment. So what has Renown done to distinguish itself? First, Renown has more original art displayed throughout the medical center than I have ever seen within a healthcare organization – paintings, photography and sculpture. There are also amazing healing gardens for adults and children. The adult garden has a labyrinth – an amazing tool for meditation and reflection.

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Photo Caption: Glass Sculpture at Renown Health

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Photo Caption: Children’s Healing Garden at Renown Health

One of the other patient- and family-friendly features that impressed me as we toured Renown is the abundance of retail within the medical center. Renown Regional Medical Center is home to a variety of shops offering everything from mom and baby gifts to trendy clothing, from fresh-cut flowers to balloons, from sit-down dining to grab-and-go treats. The Shops at Renown Health include a CVS Pharmacy, the Artisan Market Bistro, Starbucks, an upscale Boutique, a floral shop, FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt, Subway, a logo shop for Renown apparel, a traditional gift shot (Sierra Gifts), and a cafe featuring healthy options and cuisine from around the world (Chinese, Mexican, European, Mediterranean, etc). When visiting the shops and restaurants you get a sense of the familiar – a feeling a normalcy. That has to be a calming experience for patients, family members and visitors.

Finally, Renown has full service hotel on the Renown Regional Medical Center campus. The Inn at Renown offers non-smoking rooms perfect for patients and their families, medical center visitors and guests attending on-campus seminars. Three of the rooms include kitchenettes for guests who plan an extended stay.

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-8-27-27-amThese are just a few of the features I noted while on our tour of Renown Regional Medical Center. The abundance of original art, because it is so visually striking, left the greatest impression upon me. This was particularly true in the Renown Institute for Cancer. When the patient enters the Institute, he or she immediately faces a vibrant wall sculpture. Around every corner is the visitor finds a new piece of art. My guess is that the environment is not at all what first time visitors expect of a cancer center. However, it is what I have come to expect of modern, patient-friendly facilities!

If you’re interested in the creation of healing environments within hospitals, here are some posts I’ve written on the subject in the past:

Vermont Hospitals Embrace Art to Create Healing Environments

Reducing Hospital Noise to Create Healing Environments

Hospitals Offering Concierge Services for Patients

Green Initiatives on the Rise in Healthcare

Bringing the Arts into your Hospital

 

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In the past, I’ve written quite a few blog posts about the importance of health systems partnering with community and public health organizations to positively impact community and population health. Here are a few examples:

Engaging Public and Community Organizations to address Social Determinants of Health, December 13, 2016

Public Health 3.0, October 5, 2016

Organizations Collaborating to Advance Population Health (Video), July 13, 2016

Replicate This: A Hospital Sponsored Community Blog, May 5, 2016

Population Health Management Is Our Future, March 15, 2016

Population Health: An Informal Conversation with National Leaders, April 21, 2015

One Year of Public Health & Primary Care Working Together, March 5, 2015

Clearly, this is an area in which I have a strong interest; so when I find a person or organization who shares my passion, I get excited; I see hope!

To that end, earlier this week I found the following passage on Renown Health’s website, and I was elated. They get it! This statement clearly articulates a vision of community health that I share and often promote within this blog (as you can see from the list of blog posts above).

Together, We’re Better

“As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, we will broaden our approach, and think not only about healthcare, but also about health. And, we will think beyond the walls of the hospital and take our services and winning spirit out into our communities.

We recognize that we all must come together if we are to really move the needle on our community health statistics and improve the overall health of our community. To accomplish these lofty goals, we are forging new partnerships with doctors, nonprofits, other hospitals, and those who are educating tomorrow’s workforce — just to name a few. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to think differently and focus on what’s really important. And, we won’t forget our most significant partnerships — the one we share with our 6,000+ employees. The good work we do would not be possible without them.” (Renown Health Website)

It was wonderful to discover a healthcare organization that is embracing this perspective. I believe much of this philosophy comes from Dr. Tony Slonim, Renown’s CEO. He is an amazing guy and a model physician leader. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Slonim, I’ll give you some highlights. Dr. Slonim is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM). He is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Critical Care, and a Doctor of Public Health. Dr. Slonim is a nationally recognized expert in patient safety, accountable care, healthcare quality, and innovative care delivery models focused on improving health in the community. He is an academic leader with more than 100 publications, 15 textbooks and more than $2 million in National Institutes of Health funding to his name. Dr. Slonim serves on the boards of the American College of Physician Executives, the Stevens Institute of Technology, and is the Chairman of the Certified Medical Representatives (CMR) Institute Boards.

I first met Dr. Slonim through an article in the The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) where he was interviewed about Physician Leadership. As I read that interview, I was engaged by his perspective on the health system’s role in addressing community health.

“We’re on a quest toward a healthy community, and that means we’re looking outside of our walls not only to healthcare and the healthcare we provide, but also ensuring the community’s health. How are we there not only when they’re sick or injured, but when they have questions about what vitamins or herbals to take? When they need support on how to reduce their stress or how to lose weight or stop smoking? Those are the ways that we need to engage the community with prevention and wellness. And we’re doing that a lot more aggressively than we ever have.” (AJMC, March 14, 2016)

After doing a little digging, I found Dr. Slonim’s TEDx Talk where he continues to address the theme of creating healthier communities. I’ve embedded that video below.

In short, Dr. Slonim and I share a common belief that community health needs to be addressed in the community – and that this is best done through partnerships between the health system and community/public health organization. For me, it was so gratifying to discuss a physician leader and health system that is embracing that philosophy!

Here’s the backstory: This week one of my colleagues and I spent a couple of days in Reno, Nevada visiting the marketing team at Renown Health. During my time at Renown, I was fortunate to spend time with their CEO, Dr. Tony Slonim.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Renown, it is a not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving a 17-county region comprised of northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. It is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 5,700. Renown’s network includes three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, skilled nursing, and the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network. Of the 5,627 hospitals in the United States, Renown is one of only 281 physician-led organizations.

We left Renown with a great appreciation for the organization and its commitment to addressing community health. The health of our communities is dependent upon hospitals and health systems moving beyond their walls, and partnering with community organizations. It was wonderful to learn that the team at Renown embraces this perspective.

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The 2nd Annual Western New England Healthcare Marketing Symposium will take place in Northampton, Massachusetts on April 7th, 2017. Last year’s event was sold out and received great reviews. Attendees will pay $65 for a full day of learning, sharing and networking. Lunch is included! Our goal was to make this day of learning extremely high in value while keeping costs as low as possible.

This year the presenters will cover a diverse range of topics including developing personas to help you create powerful, personalized communication; effectively integrating digital video into your content marketing program; brand journalism for the healthcare organization; integrating digital communications into your marketing for referring physicians; and what we can learn from 30 years of listening to physician feedback gathered through qualitative and quantitative research. Each speaker will present practical, actionable information that you can take back to your office and put into practice immediately. Registration is now open. To learn more or register, go to http://www.jenningshealthcaremarketing.com/wnehms/.

And yes, I will be presenting at this year’s symposium. My topic is digital physician marketing. As physicians become more savvy about social media and digital communication, how do we integrate digital platforms and communication channels into the marketing mix? As a result of this digital revolution, how will the role of the physician liaison change in the years to come? And for anyone who is interested, I can almost guarantee that several of us will be gathering immediately after the event for a social hour at a nearby pub. The discussion will continue there for any who are interested.

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